IndyCar has fined driver Helio Castroneves $30,000 and placed him on probation for the remainder of the season for actions following the Sept. 18 IZOD IndyCar Series race at Twin Ring Motegi. The fine is equal to that imposed on Will Power for his "two-fingered salute" to IndyCar officials following the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Also like Power, Castroneves will be able to work off the fine by making a series of public appearances on behalf of IndyCar throughout the remainder of the season.
Castroneves was penalized for use of improper, profane or disparaging language in reference to officials for comments he made toward race director Brian Barnhart via Twitter after he was penalized for passing under a local yellow on the final lap on the 2.983-mile road course.
"I acknowledge that he (Barnhart) has done a lot for the series, but he has definitely lost it," Castroneves wrote in his column in the Metro newspaper. "It's impossible to accept the decisions of a race director who is inconsistent, who issues different punishment to identical situations and who is condescending with some and harsh with others."
Castroneves had earlier referred to Barnhart as a "circus clown" in posts on his Twitter account, referencing similar disparagement Paul Tracy infamously made about CART's then chief steward, Chris Kneifel.
Castroneves may contest the penalty as prescribed in the IZOD IndyCar Series rulebook. A protest/appeal may result in an increase, decrease or no change to the penalty.